The DMK-led Tamil Nadu government has acquired 3,273 acres of land in six districts to set up solar parks that would generate 750 MW of power, in line with the plans announced soon after the party came to power.
What is a solar park?
A solar park is a concentrated zone of development of solar power generation projects. It provides the developers with an area that is well characterized.
In 2021, state Power Minister Senthil Balaji announced in the Assembly each districts will have a solar power park. “In view of the increasing demand for power, solar power parks with a capacity of 4,000 MW will be installed based on their commercial viability in districts that are not within municipal corporation and municipality limits,” the Minister said.
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“Solar power parks will be set to produce 20,000 MW in 10 years,” he said.
A total of 3,273 acres of land has been acquired in Tiruvarur, Karur, Nagapattinam, Kancheepuram, Chengalpattu and Salem districts of Tamil Nadu.
Bids for investors
According to Tangedco officials, bids will soon be floated for investors to start working on the project. It is expected that the said capacity will be achieved within a year or so. Tamil Nadu, which currently has a solar power capacity of 5,500 MW, needs an upgrade in capacity to move away from the thermal source of power supply.
“We are working on acquiring land in other districts for setting up solar power parks. Land acquisition is difficult in western regions due to unavailability and high cost of land,” said a senior Tangedco official.
Solar power tariff depends on land cost. “The cost per unit of solar power is less on government land. The tariff can be as low as ₹2.2 per unit. Investment on a high cost land would not be profitable,” said the official.
Catching up with Rajasthan, Maharashtra
The state needs to increase its solar power capacity before it falls far behind peers such as Rajasthan and Maharashtra. “Between 2017 and 2021, while other states were able to woo investors in setting up solar power parks, we were not able to make much progress. We are currently working towards wooing investors by providing them sufficient land to set up solar power parks,” said the official.
Solar power is available from 6 am onwards. The peak power generation is between 1 pm to 2 pm. The generation almost stops by 4 pm, said the official.